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Seattle-Area Park and Ride Costs Soar to $100,000 a Space

Charged with adding over 8,500 stalls, Sound Transit is facing rampant costs that call its park and ride strategy into question.
September 15, 2017, 2pm PDT | Philip Rojc | @PhilipRojc
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Park and ride can be convenient, but at what point does the investment become simply too costly? The Seattle region faces that question as it constructs new parking garages to fulfill its Sound Transit 3 plan. Mike Lindblom writes, "The voter-approved Sound Transit 3 plan, featuring eight light-rail extensions, bus-rapid transit and more Sounder service, calls for 8,560 more parking stalls across three counties."

Costs for a garage in Kent have soared, due in part to steep land prices and a contractor-friendly market. Says Lindblom, "The new figures average out to $118,000 a space, though the project includes $3 million for improvements unrelated to parking, such as passenger drop-off areas, new bus shelters, walk and bike paths, and illumination."

The parking plan is going forward despite doubt from many quarters. Lindblom quotes the Victoria Transport Policy Institute's Todd Litman, who regularly blogs for Planetizen: "Most vehicles are worth less than these parking spaces. [...] It would actually be cheaper to give people cars."
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Published on Friday, September 15, 2017 in The Seattle Times
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